There are various initiatives available to young talent in order to carry out new projects. Examples include talent development programmes and pathways. There are also funds that have preferential schemes for new creators. Also, take a look at the Film awards page, because you can also realise a project budget, of course, by winning a cash prize.
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Netherlands Film Fund: Selective funding
The Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlands Filmfonds) provides subsidies to both acclaimed and beginning filmmakers. It is a body subsidised by the government and part of the cultural basic infrastructure. In addition, the Netherlands Film Fund is responsible, together with the Eye Film Institute, for increasing awareness and visibility of Dutch films abroad. SEE NL was set up for this purpose.
There are many opportunities for financing within the Netherlands Film Fund for new filmmakers. These schemes change regularly. At present, the most important schemes for new filmmakers are:
- Ontwikkeling korte animatiefilm (Development of a short animation film)
Intended for filmmakers who want to make a short animation film of maximum 60 minutes. The application must be submitted by a producer with demonstrable experience.
- Realisering korte animatiefilm (Realisation of a short animation film)
Intended for filmmakers who have already completed the development of their short animation film. The application must be submitted by a producer with demonstrable experience.
- Startsubsidie (Start-up subsidy)
Intended for filmmakers who have an ambitious, unique idea that they would like to develop. The subsidy is intended for the development phase of the film idea. Filmmakers can apply individually or as a team.
- Filmfonds Shorts (Film Fund Shorts)
Intended for filmmakers with an authentic, unique idea for a short film of maximum 60 minutes. The application must be submitted together with a producer who already has demonstrable experience.
- Teledoc Campus
(Young) filmmakers are given the chance to develop their talent by means of developing and producing a high-quality documentary. This is a collaboration between the Dutch public broadcaster NPO, the Co-production Fund for Domestic Broadcasting (Coproductiefonds Binnenlandse Omroep, CoBO) and the Netherlands Film Fund, in which young filmmakers gain the experience in order to make complete, long productions later.
- Ultrakort (Ultra-short)
An incentive subsidy for young filmmakers to produce their own ultra-short animation film, which will then be shown as a preview before films of the cinema chain VUE or other Dutch cinemas.
You should definitely keep an eye on the website too. A Subsidiewijzer (Subsidy Guide), among other things can be found there, which will familiarise you with the possibilities. Do you need help? Do not hesitate to ask for advice from a film consultant; that’s what they’re there for.
The NPO-fonds (NPO-fund) is the fund behind the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (Dutch Public Broadaster, NPO). Here you will find programmes for which you don’t have to be a producer, such as 3LAB or the Mid-Length scheme. In addition, the fund focuses on script development for web series, working and sparring in teams, and a strong workshop process. It is also possible to make short films (both fiction and non-fiction) for the web. There is also an option being introduced for more established talents to develop further in a new area.
The new schemes should also ensure that the national pubic broadcaster becomes more accessible to talents who have not completed an audiovisual study programme, and that inclusiveness and a plurality of voices is stimulated. 2021 was a pilot year in which the schemes were further developed together with filmmakers, producers and broadcasters. Therefore, the schemes have already been adjusted or changed regularly. For that reason, visit the website of the NPO-fonds for the most up-to-date information.
Is viewed as the testing ground of the NPO, where talented filmmakers are given the chance to develop their online drama series, short documentaries or non-fiction formats and in that way to continue to grow within the public broadcaster.
The public broadcasters
Various broadcasters offer new talent opportunities to develop further:
- NTR KORT!
A partnership between the Dutch broadcaster NTR, the NPO-fonds, CoBo and the Netherlands Film Fund. Gives young and established filmmakers an opportunity every year to develop a short film. The films have an envisaged première at the Netherlands Film Festival and a TV broadcast in that same year.
- VPRO Dorst
The VPRO has its own talent development programme. This concerns audiovisual non-fiction ideas for programmes. Podcast ideas are also accepted, provided they are focused on young people.
ACE Producers has designed and developed an ACE mentor programme in collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund, NAPA, Film Forward, Creative Media Europe and the Eye Filmmuseum. Young European producers who have a few years’ work experience are given support with managing their career and developing their international network. They are given the opportunity to learn from established mentors who are active in the European film industry. The programme welcomes producers who work in fiction, animation and documentary.
VERS Film & TV
VERS is an important platform for bringing together, stimulating and activating young, beginning filmmakers. Audiovisual students can become a member free of charge. As a member, you can go to various events, masterclasses and networking events to meet other filmmakers and film students. The website also has a ‘Vraag & Aanbod’ (Supply & Demand) page where you can place your notice, for example, for new crew members.
De Ontmoeting is a collaboration between VERS and the crowdfunding platform Voordekunst, and gives young filmmakers the opportunity to make a short film and come into contact with established parties in the industry. Different professional film companies or bodies select the projects every year. They enter into an intensive collaboration process with the selected projects, with the end result being a short film of maximum six minutes. This film is subsequently shown in cinemas throughout the Netherlands.
Videoland Academy is a talent development programme of streaming service Videoland, intended for new filmmakers. Videoland collaborates on this with the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
The Netherlands Film Festival & Go Short Campus
The Netherland Film Festival is the largest film festival in the Netherlands for Dutch filmmakers. The combination of networking events, masterclasses and meetings means it is the place for many filmmakers to meet other professionals. The festival takes place each year in Utrecht in September. Go Short in Nijmegen is a festival especially for short films. It is internationally-oriented and is highly regarded throughout Europe. They also have their own opportunities for new filmmakers.
Other funds and schemes
Interesting initiatives can also be found regionally, such as BROET in Eindhoven, which has its own talent development process NEXT. Limburg even has its own film fund: the Limburgs Filmfonds. You will also find the film hub Cinesud in Limburg, where there are many opportunities for young and established filmmakers. In addition, there are many other funds, which young filmmakers often and gladly rely on. For example, the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund (Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds) has a special film arm. Other examples include the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (Amsterdamse Fonds voor de Kunst, AFK) and Fonds 21.
One final tip: Are you going to shoot in a big city? Ask for advice from the municipality, because you may have overlooked a small urban fund that you can still write to, as every large Dutch city has a film consultant.